Monday, November 05, 2012
When Sandy's storm surge flooded New York's subway and split the city into its island parts, normal commutes were washed away. City-mandated restrictions prevented cars with fewer than three people from entering Manhattan to try to limit vehicle traffic. So New Yorkers took to new modes to get around. HopStop, the transit trip planning website, reported a 1,300 percent spike in searches for bus travel in NYC and an 800 percent jump in non-train searches compared to the previous week.
And then there were bikes.
On Thursday, the NYC DOT counted 30,000 cyclists riding across the East River bridges, more than double the normal 13,000. Though there's no official count for within Manhattan while the power was still out downtown and subways were halted, this audio postcard of a ride around town shows how Sandy created a mini-bike boom -- and a pop-up culture of cycling harmony.
Friday, October 19, 2012
(Elliott Francis and Marti Johnson - Washington, D.C., WAMU) The Maryland Transit Administration is recording conversations between bus drivers and passengers, which is prompting critics to peg the audio recordings as violations of privacy.
The MTA began recording audio on 10 buses in Baltimore this week, with plans to expand to half the fleet by next summer. The agency runs local buses in the Baltimore-Washington area with commuter routes serving outlying communities. The buses are already equipped with video cameras that sport microphones — they just have to be switched on.
The state attorney general's office says the addition of audio doesn't violate Maryland's wiretapping law, but attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union say bus riders shouldn't have to sacrifice their privacy rights.
The audio recordings are an attempt to increase commuter safety, says MTA information officer Terry Owens.
"We were convinced that this additional tool would help us better safeguard our system, so we have this system in place on ten of our buses, testing the technology to make sure it's effective," he says.
There are signs on the buses letting riders know they're being recorded. But the American Civil Liberties Union staff attorney David Rocah says recording the conversations violates riders privacy rights.
"I don't think public transit riders should have to give their legitimate expectation of privacy and their ability to have a private conversation as a condition of riding a bus," Rocah says.
MTA says the state attorney general's office says that there is no legal expectation of privacy on public buses, but some state legislators are ready to take up the issue in the next general Assembly, the ACLU says. State Sen. Brian Frosh says the General Assembly will most likely set standards for oversight and accountability.
Monday, July 02, 2012
Turning ideas into radio is one of the most exciting, frustrating, rewarding, and insanely fun things there is. Which got us thinking--why not ask you to join in on the fun? So we teamed up with Indaba for our first-ever remix competition. And now we get to play the winners.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Where do sounds go when they die? The Museum of Endangered Sounds has archived sounds that will soon die: sounds like modems connecting, Tetris, Windows 95 startup chime, Nokia ringtone and more. John Hockenberry reflects on sounds lost and found in this audio essay.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Today we asked listeners: What sounds from your childhood are going extinct? Rotary phones? Dial-up connections? Tetris? We compiled the responses into an audio essay.
Monday, May 07, 2012
While browsing for archival audio on the internet one night, radio historian J. David Goldin noticed a 1937 radio interview of baseball great Babe Ruth for sale on eBay. Goldin was startled; it looked almost exactly like the master copy he had donated to the National Archives more than 30 years ago. Goldin started sleuthing. His detective work set in motion an investigation that revealed one of the most serious thefts in the history of the National Archives. In stealing those master copies, the culprit stole history, a trove of mind-blowing audio recordings spanning decades of American culture. These audio recordings mark an age before television and the Internet, when only sound connected you to the rest of the world. Host John Hockenberry wonders, how does audio transport you back in time better than a photo?
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Manhattan's 34th Street/Herald Square subway station is not among this TN correspondent's favorites -- the platforms are narrow and it's usually crowded (hello, Macy's shoppers). Until last week.
While waiting for the N/R train, I decided to investigate the compelling burbling sounds pouring out of a green metal box suspended above the platform.
Reach New York: An Urban Musical Instrument is an audio installation by artist/architect/composer Christopher Janney. It was permanently installed in the station in 1996. Located on both the uptown and downtown platforms, when people put their hands in front of the instrument: "a burst of musical notes are released on the opposite side, playing to the person on the other side. The hand motions elicit an outpouring of sounds that evoke urban life and bring about duets between strangers waiting for their respective trains."
We had a lot of fun with it last week. You can listen to some audio of "Reach" below. (The sound gets really interesting about 30 seconds in.)
Monday, December 05, 2011
Preservation is moving toward center stage in the audio world, and nowhere is this more patent than at the AES Convention. Marquee names (Chuck Ainlay, Bob Ludwig) are expressing concern over the legacy of their work, and their talks are increasingly well attended by the rank-and-file membership, who increasingly face challenges that require coordinated solutions.
Monday, August 01, 2011
After months of preparation for the NYC Digital Waves Youth Media Festival, it finally arrived on Saturday July 30th - as it quickly came it also quickly passed. I miss the festival already. But maybe it was part of the appeal so we would hunger more for next year! Even as someone who planned this event I didn't feel like, "finally it's done now move on," (maybe a tiny bit), but I want more.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) It's been a busy week on the radio side of Transportation Nation. So we thought we'd assemble the great reporting work our partners have been doing from around the country into one ad-hoc podcast for your weekend listening pleasure.
It's about half an hour long, just right to keep you company making that Sunday brunch, or driving home from visiting mom.
What's in the Transportation Nation ad-hoc podcast you ask?
WNYC had reporters in New York City and in Denmark compare the copacetic world of cycling in Europe with the contentious attempts to build a bike lane network back home.
The Takeaway tackled the details of the latest budget deal that appear to have derailed high-speed rail funding in many ways.
KALW introduces us to the most dangerous mile of public transit in the San Francisco area, gun shots, on-board assaults and all.
Marketplace checks in on the trend of cash-strapped cities trying to privatize their parking spots. Hint: it looks like you'll be paying more for meters.
The Takeaway also looked into the latest spat over sleeping air traffic controllers. Just how overworked are they? And hasn't this always happened occasionally on the night shift?
WNYC tried to find out what regulations need to change to improve bus safety after a series of crashes left 17 dead. Here, the former head of the NTSB says he doesn't need to wait for the official report, the whole industry needs to change. (TN version of the story)
Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
This fall, we began a new broadcast workshop in Flushing, Queens in partnership with the Flushing YMCA. During the past month, the Rookies have started to roll through their lessons, putting their new skills to practice. They are well on their way to making their radio documentaries.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
I felt like such a hypocrite. Here I am in Queens, challenging the teens to find a sense of connection to their community, possibly eradicate their assumptions, and change their views about the place, while I think to myself 'me? Start a radio workshop in Queens? How dreadful! Love the kids, just not Queens - it's my least favorite borough.' Come on! Can Queens really be anyone's favorite borough? But after the 5 weeks long workshop, these kids and their stories about flushing made me reevaluate.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The third round of Short Wave Rookies comes from Queens, NY. We collaborated with Mapping Main Street, a documentary project that set out to tell the stories of all the Main Streets in the United States.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Greetings from Studio 360's home base in New York City!
After weeks of listening to tape and mixing (and remixing) our stories, we're proud to post the first sounds of our trip to Japan. On this past week's show, we broadcast an interview with the writer Pico Iyer in ...